Art Therapy for Children
What is Art Therapy for Children?
Art Therapy is an evidenced-based approach, used by Psychologists to help children and teens gain insight and express a wide variety of issues. Many children and teens have difficulties expressing their emotions and thoughts verbally. An Art Therapist will observe and gain insights into a child or teen’s underlying emotions and difficulties. Art therapists interpret the nonverbal symbols, messages, and metaphors in a child's artistic expression to gain an understanding of their feelings and possible underlying issues. While engaged in art, children and teens often lose a layer of self-consciousness and begin to open up as they access the “wise” side of their brain. Some children and teens lack insight into their own thoughts and feelings, leading to repression of self. Art Therapy can help create a bridge, increasing awareness, openness, and the ability to heal. Art therapy allows the repression of thoughts and feelings to surface, leading to increased growth, wellness, and understanding.
What Ages Can Art Therapy Be Used For?
Art therapy can be used for all ages. Art is often one of the first ways a child learns how to communicate, as they develop visual representations of their world. Art Therapists gain valuable insights to these visual representations through art and can help explore narratives of themes or difficulties. Children and teens learn to create art that is explorative and meaning making. At times children or teens may be self-conscious about their art which allows for additional trust building and processing in session. Many children and teens do very well communicating through drawing, colouring, painting, and sculpting or a combination of art and talk therapy. Many children also may be unable or unwilling to have a conversation with a therapist, but are able to express themselves through art.
5 reasons Art Therapy May be Right for Your Child or Teen
Your child or teen hasn't developed the vocabulary to describe a traumatic event that's occurred
Your child or teen is not comfortable to verbally share their thoughts, fears, anxieties with the outside world.
Your child has an Anxiety Disorder or Selective Mutism, and would feel more comfortable sharing through art
If your child or teen doesn't yet have the vocabulary to describe their feelings and emotions. Art therapy may be the best way your child or teen is able to express their feelings.
Your child or teen had a bad experience with a previous type of therapy. They may be willing to express these feelings artistically
Art Therapy and Creative Sky Psychology
I use art as a method of cathartic expression. It is also an excellent tool to establish a connection with a child or teen. Art therapy can be an excellent form of therapy both on its own or in combination with other therapeutic strategies. If your child or teen is non-verbal, speech delayed, or has Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Anxiety, Depression, Selective Mutism, or emotional difficulties, art therapy may offer a healing solution.
I offer Child Psychology sessions in Calgary Alberta. If you want to find out if Art Therapy is right for your child, please contact me for additional information or book a session online.